The Economic Study of Ritual-Oriented Religions: The Neglect of Priesthood
Kianoosh Rezania (KHK fellow)
The focus on belief-oriented religions, specifically Christianity, in the current economic study of religion, together with the abundance of sources from North-America in this field, leads scholars to pay less attention to ritual-oriented religions in non-Western cultures. This paper will discuss the above methodological limitations in current economic theories of religion, by illustrating it with a case-study on Zorostrian rituals. The paper will point out the importance of Zoroastrian priesthood for modelling economic theories of religion, taking into account that Zoroastrian priests were considered to be the real supplier of religious content in rituals. This paper will show that, for the economic modeling of these religions, it is necessary to distinguish three types of households: lay-households, priest-households and ritual institutions (e. g. temples). Finally, the paper will consider the economic connections between these three types of households.
This paper will be presented in panel Method and Theory in Religious Studies: Complexities and Blind Spots (24-302 | 113).